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Starting April 22 Verizon Will Charge $30 Upgrade Fee When Existing Customers Buy New Phones at a Discounted Rate


Well, we got rid of that ridiculous $2 monthly fee that Verizon wanted to charge you for paying your bill online, but they have decided to kick off an “upgrade fee” in its place. Starting April 22, you will have to pay a $30 “upgrade fee” when purchasing a new phone at a discounted rate on contract. So when you pay $199 for that shiny new white DROID RAZR, but lock in for 2 years, you will also pay an additional $30.

Here is the reasoning behind this move:

On April 22, Verizon Wireless is implementing a $30 upgrade fee for existing customers purchasing new mobile equipment at a discounted price with a two-year contract. This fee will help us continue to provide customers with the level of service and support they have come to expect which includes Wireless Workshops, online educational tools, and consultations with experts who provide advice and guidance on devices that are more sophisticated than ever.

From what we can tell, Sprint and AT&T each charge $36 as an upgrade fee to their customers.

We have full details about the fee here.

Via:  Verizon

  • slide83

    Does this apply to online upgrades/activations also?

  • Higher_Ground

    Someone needs to put these jokers in their place.  They are becoming as bad as the gas stations and utility companies – the price will only go up, the question is how much..

  • hippo

    I’m cool with this ONLY if they knock down prices for android phones. Essentially, it would then just be a reduction in iphone subsidies, since apple won’t let them change the prices.

  • Stephen Morrison

    Being as fair as possible, the reps are nice people, but they are held to absolutely ridiculous standards. Verizon, how dare you call it a discount and then require a fee? It’s a complete wash and it really makes you look stupid. Thank your policies when your employees come back to you all types of stressed out cause customers will call to rip their heads off about the fee. As if there aren’t enough fees associated with someones bill. Go ahead and blame taxes and government, you could at least fight for your customers making them more loyal and your company more appealing to new customers. Providing this kind of quality to your customers will equate to a larger quantity of customers which in turn gives you more $$. Make your money that way rather than dicking us around with your fees. If this fee you are charging sticks around, I want to see some gigantic changes to the way your company handles our needs.

  • ddevito

    This one’s for all the folks who sweat Big Red’s balls – cheers!


  • Sqube

    In other words, that shiny $199 phone actually costs $229.

    You’re welcome, customers.

  • steve w

    whadda bunch of BS. o well. start another online petition? lol

  • wtfman

    looks like i’ll be holding onto my gnex until something WORTH it comes out. i really don’t wanna pay $30 in addition to a new phone with renewal comes up 🙁

    • SolipsisticPsychologist

      Yeah I just bought the Rezound, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to ever replace it now and buy another phone from Verizon. And if it stops working, I always have my Droid that I can just turn back on. Having the latest operating system and specs doesn’t mean that much to me, definitely not enough to pay these greedy bastards even more money. The only reason I bought the Rezound was because my DroidX got messed up and I had loaned my Droid out to my sister while she was in the process of getting a new phone. But now that she got a new one,I have my lovely Droid back, and can always rely on it when I need a backup.

  • JosephCabrera

    Instead of all these random petitions, we need a single droid life promoted one, where we can show our force. 

  • Ron Perlman’s Jaw

    Verizon has the potential to reap over $3 billion from this fee.
    Time to start buying phones off contract from other retailers.  If I shell out $500-$600 for a phone, then maybe I won’t be so quick to dump it for a new one.

  • Ahku Droid

    They have to pay for superfluous services like Backup Assistant when Google does that already.  I hope everyone calls and expresses their complaints.  First they take away our $50 new every 2, now they flip it at make us pay for the “convenience of upgrading” by $30?  I am not amused…

  • Ducat

    Well I might upgrade before the 22nd.I have to mull it over. After the 22nd I will take my business to AT&T,providing they have a better price. I get employer “volume discount” weigh ATT and VZ. I agree that those who use all those extra services should pay an a la carte price.

  • Scott

    What happens if you upgrade through Best Buy or Amazon?  Is this a way to get around the fee?

  • jdrch

    If my calculations are correct, a hilarious unintended consequence of this is upgrading might cost nearly the same as simply switching carriers. This might actually backfire on Verizon when upgrade time rolls around for a lot of people.

    • Ekd

      nope. The charge will show up on your VZ bill. BB or any other retailer is not the one collecting $30, instead it will show up on your bill – just like an activation fee!

      • jdrch

        I’m not sure I understand you. Regardless of which bill it shows up *on*, the *consumer* pays an activation fee or an upgrade fee, which are now essentially the same. The last time I checked activation fees were around $25

  • Will you have to pay this upgrade fee for getting a new phone and renewing your contract with a 3rd party (such as Amazon)?

  • PowersUSA

    So this is like the opposite of the now defunct new every two

  • Boss Man

    I get that $30 sucks but that’s still $6 cheaper than AT&T and Sprint. Why haven’t their customers complained about paying that fee? Oh ya, cuz they’re use to it. Do people seriously think that getting a Nexus for $300 is making any money for Verizon? Think about it. These phones cost at least $500 a piece. I hate this thing but as a business man, I absolutely get it. Believe it or not, phone carriers are not “non profit” companies. They are in it to make a buck. That’s the point of business. Most the people on this blog know how to set up their own devices but has anybody actually seen an in store workshop? I stopped by to pay my bill one time and the place was packed with people learning how to use their new Android devices. Just because this “service” doesn’t apply to the thousands of people on Droid Life doesn’t mean it doesn’t apply to the MILLIONS of other users on their network. You want to start a petition? How about petitioning cell phone manufacturers to lower their prices. I’m sure that will work. Then why don’t you petition your local tire store because they charge you labor to put on those shiny new tires you just bought. Then petition your repair man because he charged you for the parts as well as the labor to fix your dryer.  Think outside the box people and try seeing things from multiple angles. If you hate it, then switch to a different provider……..oh wait……….the other carriers charge about $40 to “activate” your new line of service as well as $6 more to upgrade it in the future. Seems like a good idea to me.

    • Max0442

      A CSR at Verizon once told me that they lose money even selling the phone at full retail. He tried to tell me that full retail was actually less than what the phone cost! If they need this fee then how have they been able to show record profits since the smartphone boom started? I’m not saying they shouldn’t make a profit, but for them its like its worth the risk for them to lose customers so they can increase their earnings. But at some point it should start to bite them, while they may get an extra $30 every 2 YEARS, if they lose multiple lines that are bringing them at minimum $100 A MONTH, how is that smart?
      What I also don’t get is how can a company like StraightTalk, which uses Verizon’s network, be able to have an unlimited plan (talk, text, web) for $45 a month. I understood how they could before because they didn’t have much more than BlackBerry clones for smartphones, but they have at least one android model now. So how can they offer that when Verizon can’t?
      Lastly, if their “experts” at these workshops are no better trained than the lionshare of their phone support staff, then they’re really screwing us. Out of every 20 times I call in, 1 of those reps will be knowledgeable. Most of the time I have to call in a second or third time to fix what the first and seconds reps screwed up. There coverage is great, the staff they have dealing with the customers is for the most part horrible.

      • dk81

        I totally agree with your view on these so called “experts”.  The best rep I’ve ever dealt with I would only consider to be barely adequate.  I’ve actually had a rep tell me “this phone is really expensive, you could probably get it for less on craigslist”.  WTF! It’s not your money stupid phone rep, I’ll spend it how I want and don’t assume 300 bucks is expensive to me, I make way more than you little phone sales person lol.  Yeah their pretty terrible and I’m not paying $30 for one idiot to teach a room full of idiots how to upload a photo to facebook.

    • dk81

      As a business man myself who does right by the customer your line of thinking and Verizon’s reasoning for the fee is absurd.  If you claim all these workshops are packed then charge the people going to them.  I don’t use any of these services at all, why should I have to pay for your grandpa to figure out how to use a smartphone.  This is like cell phone welfare. I completely understand Verizon needs to make a profit and they already are, their doing quite well without this fee.  Keep in mind Verizon is the most expensive service provider and already charges a premium for their services which I’m fine with because they sell a quality product.  This is just screwing the customer because they can and that’s it.  As for the price of the phone they make it back in the $150 bucks I send them for the next 24 months and most people are paying more than that, I’ve been with them a while.  As far as all those other services you talk about, it’s a terrible analogy.  Those are services you are actually using, again I’ll never need their workshop so I shouldn’t have to pay for it.

    • jayman1576

      I don’t buy the fact that new smartphones cost carriers $500. That’s B.S. If it were true then a laptop would cost 10x that amount just for the increased screen size alone. How is it then that Dell can sell a brand new laptop for $299? And they don’t even get repaid over 2 years through a service contract like carriers do. And if by chance the phones do cost that much, then maybe carriers should start demanding that manufacturers only release 1 or 2 phones a quarter instead of the 5,637 that they currently do.

    • SolipsisticPsychologist

      If you think they actually pay that $500 that they say they do……Wow, well hey, my brother is an African prince and he had to escape the country recently and wasn’t able to take his $145,782,412 in personal wealth with him. But kind sir, if you would be so kind as to help us out, by giving your bank account number, we transfer the Prince’s money into your account and for you help we allow you to keep 40% of money. You would be doing great service to we, and I can’t thank enough kind sir.

      Please email at the following address, so we get transaction start.
      [email protected]

  • Why don’t they just add $30 to the price of the phone?

  • Lgb400

    I notice amazon is usually lower priced….will there be a fee if amazon is used

  • Yahoo123


  • MattInPDX

    Um, aren’t all of those “services” supposed to be what their sales reps/customer service people provide as part of their salary?

  • Devilsephiroth

    A level of service, my ass!!!!

  • George 85

    All the more incentive to just buy your phones at retail value.

  • JulianZHuang

    what about buying and not upgrading? 

  • Harbo99

    Email sent to my VZW regional president. My wife and I have made 25+ calls to CS over the last 2 months because they could not get her a Rezound (they sent us 4) that anyone she was talking to could actually hear her on until they finally switched her to GNex.  That is the type of service and support WE have come to expect from VZW and now I am supposed to pay extra for it???

  • Dliuzzo110

    I can already see the hitler commercial. Cuz lets face it, who’s gonna give up lte?

  • Logan_jinx

    Because i dislike every other carrier that much, i will continue to stick with verizon unfortunately

    • SolipsisticPsychologist

      Yeah but you don’t have to leave a carrier to demand good service, and the right to not be ripped off at every chance they can think of something ridiculous. I mean seriously, i thought using the word “convenience”, when they attempted to tack on $2 every month, was a huge slap in the face to begin with. Not to mention taking away the $50 credit. But to say we want an additional $30 on top of the gigantic cost of the phone you’re buying, and it’s supposedly going to help fund classes that probably one person in the history of Version has taken. And then to add insult they actually say it will help fund the “expert” service we’ve come to expect!? Haha! I would say over 80% of the people who have dealt with issues with an in-store Verizon clerk, or one on the phone. Wouldn’t place the word “expert” within fourteen million miles of the actual quality of service they received.

  • GB79

    The need to let people who have no use for workshops, educational tools, and consultants opt out of the $30 charge. If I need help with anything I’m more likely to go online then to sign up for a workshop or contact Verizon for some education on using my phone.

  • SilverUberXeno

    It probably won’t apply online, or at authorized retailers. I used to work for VZW, and there were a lot of signs that they were looking to close down their corporate locations. Raising prices that only apply to them is a good way to “validate” the decision with the drop in business that will surely ensue.

    Truth is, though, if you don’t want to pay it, don’t. Verizon Wireless isn’t a charity. They offer a service– OFFER, not force. And it costs whatever they tell you it does.

  • I signed the petition as well http://www.change.org/petitions/verizon-wireless-discontinue-30-upgrade-fee#

  • One more nail Verizon? Way to go. I was already leaving anyways when my contract is up but now this just makes me have one more excuse when they ask why.

  • Havoc70

    I guess i wont be buying ANY phones from these Aholes, friggin VZ is already the MOST expensive service and they are making billions and still trying to screw over their customers, PHAQ Big Red

  • I guess I dont get it….. Why dont they just charge $30 more for the phone and not call this an extra fee? What am I missing here?

    So this means that the $30 loyalty credit I have left to use will cancel itself out with this new fee?

  • This is insane!!!! Big Red, wants to collect big paychecks from its customers, not like they already are!!!!!

  • J S

    It was bad enough that I got an email this morning saying my corporate discount was being cut from 10 to 5%.  Oh well.

  • Ekd

    It’s all about the bottom line. This is a free market – if you don’t like it, switch to a local carrier. That’s what I’m doing. Last I checked, US Cellular (in our region at least) has the best coverage and just rolled out their LTE network, and has the best customer service!

    And, US Cell is running a promo now, in which they’ll pay $100 to anybody that switches over to them! Competition is a beauty!

  • lilschil

    My local VZW store tried to charge me the very same $30 last November when I upgraded. I refused to pay it and they took it off. I guess that must have been a trial test for this move. So not sure why they’re going live with it, if it wasn’t a successful beta.

  • THIS IS BBBSSSS !!!!! where do they get off doing this.. whos freakin idea is this… they should be fired.. 

  • I used to pay an extra $30 when upgrading if I opted for a 1 year contract, bring that back!  ($0 for a 2 yr. contract.)

  • Bionic

    I agree that this is stupid but I guess im in the minority?  I could care less about paying $30 especially when other carriers already do this.  It would take A LOT for me to ever think about leaving Verizon.  I’ve had way too many nightmare scenarios with other phones.

  • wikid_one

    So which must-have phone are they tying this price hike in with? “Hey, we’re getting ready to release the Incredible 4G… lets make them pay even more for it. It’s a no fail plan!”

  • mmmmmmmm

    Damn, that’s ridiculous VW just want to get rich I repair my phone I do not need no damn technician

  • Jon

    i don’t want ANY of those reasons you gave for charging me $30.

  • Josh Groff

    You know what’s funny, if one takes an upgrade every 18 months, they actually save $6 from what they were paying with $2/month. Alternatively, if you take a 2 yr upgrade, it’s $12 saved. Are droid-life users really that daft?

    • MarkyMark

      you’re assuming we want to pay either…. speaking of daft….

      • Josh Groff

         I was under the impression we didn’t have a choice either way, so lowering the cost is at least a step in the right direction.

  • Guest

    Guess I won’t be upgrading this summer when I have three upgrades coming. They can suck it.

  • Kyle Fullmer

    Instead of getting Verizon to stop the monthly money grab we should try to get other carriers to get better service.  I would much rather switch carriers than start a petition every month.

  • DanWazz

    “consultations with experts who provide advice and guidance on devices that are more sophisticated than ever.” made me lol. I know more about phones than those “experts.” It must be expensive to train someone to tell people to do a factory reset on their device.

  • Michael Forte

    Wtf? Oh we’ll let you upgrade your phone but you must pay us $30 first. How does that make sense? Unlimited data for us grandfathered in will be the last thing to go, hopefully I can upgrade one more time and keep it.

    • dk81

      If they get rid of unlimited data I’m gone. Its the only reason I’m still with them. This 30 fee is bull and I’ll never pay it.

    • frankandsimple

      what’s even worse is their explanation. ”
      This fee will help us continue to provide customers with the level of service and support they have come to expect”

      I can’t roll my eyes high enough. 

    • hkklife

      I predict they will start trimming the grandfathered unlimited users around than Q4 of this year…..or spring/summer next year at the absolute latest. They generally like to make these lame changes in late spring or summer. Witness 1yr contracts going away exactly a year ago and the move to tiered data plans last July.

  • bakdroid

    Verizon and its customers….

  • dk81

    OK we shouldn’t have to do this but u can get around it by acting outraged and threatening to cancel and I’m sure this is the first fee they will be able to waive. Just call and ask for their saves department.Yes they actually have a department to offer u something so u don’t leave.